As China continues to grow, develop, and integrate into the global economy, its overseas investments increasingly reflect the growing sophistication of the Chinese economy and the broader commercial and policy goals being set in Beijing.
To better understand this phenomenon, the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) has recently published a report that brings together original analyses from 19 European countries on the economic but also the geopolitical dimensions of increased Chinese investment in Europe.
One important contribution of this report is to dispel the emerging narrative that Europe needs China more than the other way around. European economies have a wide range of assets and features that Chinese investors seek, such as cutting-edge technology, the world’s largest single market, vast corporate networks that stretch the globe, brand names, integrated regional and global value chains and a stable legal, regulatory, and political environment. The importance of these assets for Chinese companies both today and in the long run should not be underestimated.
Still, the importance of Chinese investors for Europe should not be overlooked, either. Since the onset of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, and still today, many capitals and economic centers across Europe have looked to China as a source of opportunity and growth. Indeed, promoting investment relations has risen to the top of many bilateral agendas.